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05-05-2009, 05:11 AM   #1
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DA* 50-135mm or Tamaron 70-200mm

Hi everyone,

I'm in the market to purchase a new lens and wanted to get some ideas as to which one would be a better buy. I'm looking at either the da* 50-135 2.8 or the Tamaron 70-200 2.8. I'm looking to do portraits (with the option of going into weddings), landscapes, wildlife, and baby shots (since my wife is 4 months pregnant). I know the Tamaron is cheapier but in my experience cheapier isn't always better. Plus the Tamaron I currently have (28-200) isn't good at all and I've heard that Tamaron works for a little while but then deteriates in quality very quickly. I just want to get a good lens that will be reliable, sharp, fast and perferably quiet.

Thanks everyone.

If you could, please rate each lens on a 1 to 10 scale (1 being absolute junk and 10 being "can't live without).

05-05-2009, 05:11 AM   #2
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Also, if you have any suggestions on where to go for the best price and reliablity in shipping/product quality please let me know.
05-05-2009, 07:03 AM   #3
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I have some friends who want me to do some portraits of them since the trees are flowering so I might need to get a lens pretty quickly.
05-05-2009, 07:08 AM   #4
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I do not own either lens and both have good reputations. However the *50-135 has been known as one of the best lenses produced by Pentax. Here are the links to the reviews made by other forum members:

Pentax Lens Review Database - 50-135mm F2.8 ED [IF]

PentaxForums.com Third-Party Pentax Lens Review Database - 70-200 f/2.8 Di LD Macro

Out of all the lenses available right now the two that I wish I had are the two DA* zooms.

05-05-2009, 07:58 AM   #5
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Hey Hey Elwood - I wrote up a blog post about that issue which was complete with photos, but people questioned the photos from the DA* 50-135, saying that I should get better results, and I later found that I needed a -2 focus adjustment on my K20D for spot on focus, so I took down the photos, but the comparison text about usage is still valid. You can read it here.
05-05-2009, 08:54 AM   #6
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The Tamron 70-200mm is an excellent lens.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/38885-tamron-7...est-shots.html
05-05-2009, 12:43 PM   #7
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Pretty much all companies make good lenses and not-so-good ones - and neither Pentax and Tamron are exceptions to this. The Tamron 28-200 is not one of their better ones, by all accounts - after all, it's a "superzoom", designed for people who care more about convenience than quality, and hails from an era when zooms were pretty suspect in quality in general. The 70-200/2.8 is designed to be professional quality. but then, so is the Pentax 50-135.

The real question are, which focal length range suits you better, and does the difference in size&weight matter to you? I know I personally would find a 50-135 far more useful than a 70-200, and I'd much rather use a lens the size&weight of a 50-135 than of a 70-200 (although both are far larger and heavier than I prefer). But that's based on my expected usage, not yours. The 50-135 range is probably more appropriate for everything on your list except wildlife - but then, neither lens is really long enough for that. Better to get one of these to meet your other needs, then think about a different (longer) lens for wildlife.
05-05-2009, 01:44 PM   #8
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I think both lenses are great but I think the main differences are focal length and size/weight. The Tamron, even though I think its the smallest and lightest 70-200mm available, it's still big and heavy. The 50-135mm is much smaller plus you have the added benefit of weather sealing and near silent focusing through SDM. It's practically designed to have the same field of view as a full frame camera would have with the 70-200.

05-05-2009, 01:53 PM   #9
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I own both lenses.. I can not tell them apart for IQ, sharpness, color saturation. The huge differences are size/weight and focus speed. The Pentax is much smaller and lighter and focuses much quiter and quicker. Just last night I packed for a trip to CO and had to choose between the two lenses.. i went with the 50-135. I must admit that part of that decision was based on the fact that that I am bringing Bigma with me and I just didnt want to haul Bigma and the 70-200 with me.
05-05-2009, 01:53 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by sharko Quote
I think both lenses are great but I think the main differences are focal length and size/weight. The Tamron, even though I think its the smallest and lightest 70-200mm available, it's still big and heavy. The 50-135mm is much smaller plus you have the added benefit of weather sealing and near silent focusing through SDM. It's practically designed to have the same field of view as a full frame camera would have with the 70-200.
Since I got the 50-135 and the K10, I seldom use the A 70-210. They are equivalent fields of view, as sharko says. The 50-135 is a stop faster than my 70-210, but that doesn't seem to make much difference to me. I use these lenses the most, and in this relative frequency:
  1. DA* 16-50/2.8 This is my walk around lens.
  2. DA* 50-135/2.8 Portraiture and local sports, soccer, etc.
  3. M 400/5.6 My bird and animal lens, often with converter.
  4. M 100/4 Macro. Nothing beats a true macro with a decent distance from the bug.
05-05-2009, 01:58 PM   #11
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I'd go for the Tamron 70-200. The focal lengths I use most are anywhere between 135 and 200 mm. If that applies to you as well, it's something to consider.

The 50-135 is quiet and faster in focusing than the Tamron. It also has weather sealing, but that doesn't mean the Tamron doesn't have excellent build quality - just ask jsherman, who took his Tammy 70-200 for a dunk.
05-06-2009, 04:28 AM   #12
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I haven't tried the Tamron because when I was lens shopping at B&H they didn't have one in Pentax mount on display for me to test (nor the Sigma as that was another one on my list). However, the sales guy said that it was noisy and slow compared to the DA* 50-135. I bought the DA* because of that. The purpose of the purchase was for shooting theatre and performances and quiet would be a good thing in that case. The lens spends most of it's time on my camera now anyway. I love it. It's a fantastic piece of glass.
05-06-2009, 01:49 PM   #13
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Sigam 70-200 f2.8 is also an excellent choices. Check out the reviews posted here, and others.

My next lens will most likely be the Sigma 70-200 f2.8. Unless a mint condition FA 24/2.0 comes to the market.
05-06-2009, 01:59 PM   #14
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I love the HSM in my Sigma. But you can add me to the legions who've had to have their lenses serviced -- mine was front focusing pretty badly.
05-07-2009, 09:37 AM   #15
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Well, after much debate and discussion, I decided to go with the da 50-135. I really hope this lens is worth the $1000 I paid for it. I took a few shots this morning and I'm not seeing much difference from my other lenses...I'm still getting blur and grain when i zoom in on the camera. I have 30 days to return the lens if I don't like it. Any suggestions on how I should have my camera settings set to?

I have a few friends who what their protraits taken this weekend....that's why I got the lens now. I'll send the pictures once they are edited.
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